How It Works

What is #WeLoveWhatsLocal?

To support business and communities across the province, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce launched the Ontario Shop Local Program to help stimulate economic recovery and encourage consumers to shop local businesses. Key principles of the initiative include:

  • Encouraging campaigns representative of their community (region, communities and neighbourhoods)
  • Supporting collaboration with key stakeholders (small businesses, municipalities, organizations and associations of the community)
  • Avoiding duplication or competing messaging of existing shop local programs
  • Accessing local suppliers for campaign elements

The Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce received reports from local businesses about patrons with short tempers being rude or aggressive towards staff and an overall general sense of negativity. The pandemic has affected us all, some folks are simply tired, others are facing financial concerns and others still more serious situations. It’s time to REFOCUS our perspective and realize we live in a great area with WONDERFUL businesses owned and operated by our neighbours. Let’s tell them we LOVE them!

We Love What’s Local goes beyond traditional retail campaigns to include ALL TYPES OF BUSINESS. Businesses in Lambton Shores, South Huron and Bluewater – are eligible. Nominated businesses do not need to be a member of any chamber or BIA!

We Love What’s Local kicks off with a Best Of contest to get us thinking about the POSITIVE aspects of our neighbours’ businesses and to COLLECT the UNIQUE STORIES of those independently owned and operated businesses. Nominated businesses will be promoted on this website, our Facebook and Instagram pages (@welovewhatslocal) and the category winners on radio and in video.

A campaign kit is available to all businesses, which includes:

  • A window cling decal to show support and participation
  • A campaign visual for your website and social media (via email)
  • Full colour flyer for display and sample promotional postcard to promote the campaign and encourage nominations
  • Once nominated, a business gets a Business Profile Listing on this website and a facebook post ready for the voting phase of the contest

Campaign kits will be mailed out via Canada Post direct mail October 22, 2021. If you have not received one, please contact for one.

The Nomination Round

The Nomination Round begins October 13, 2021 and serves two purposes:

  1. This is YOUR chance to add your favourite businesses from your community. Want to reward your favourite hairstylist? Nominate them! Think your plumber did a great job? Nominate them!
  2. The nomination round is also when the public decides which businesses should make it to the Voting Round. At the end of the nomination round, the nominations are tallied and the top businesses in each category move on to the Voting Round.

How do I nominate a business?

Once we’ve received the nomination, the business is added to the Business Profile listings on this website for the Voting Round. The Business Profile Listing shows the categories in which that business was nominated, and includes their address, contact information, web and social media links, photo/image, map and brief description.

I just nominated a business. Why isn’t showing up?

New nominations are reviewed by an administrator first and then added to the nominated business profile listings. It can sometimes take a few days, as there maybe images or information we need to collect or check for the Business Profile Listing.

The Voting Round

This is where it all counts. Vote for your favourite businesses and services on this website starting November 15, 2021. The most votes win!

How many times can I vote?

An account is associated with your email address and each email address is allowed one vote per business per category.

The Winners Round

There’s one winner per category, as well as up to two Top Pick honorable mentions in each category.

What do the Winners and Top Picks get?

Bragging rights obviously, and also:

  • An enhanced Business Profile Listing on this website indicating they are a category winner or Top Pick
  • Radio interviews for the category winners
  • Video profiles for the category winners telling their unique story which will be shared on this website, the Facebook and Instagram pages and local community channels
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